It's been a while since I posted anything on here. I've had these done for quite a while. I had wanted to post all of the quartets at the same time, but it looks like it's going to take longer than I had anticipated. Anyway, here are the first three quartets of Opus 18. They are all complete. They're not perfect, but they sound pretty decent. I still need to tweak them some. I hope you enjoy them. As usual, any comments are welcome!
Sorry, I removed them. Please read my later post at the bottom for why. Trust me, you didn't want to hear these babies like this!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!
Perhaps the anticipation of another superb Johnny Lost production unfairly raised my expectations to an unreal high level.
I've only been able to bear listening to the first part of the first quartet. The reverb is much too artificial, with inappropriate Big Hall tails. And unfortunately, the difficulties in performing samples were not addressed: machine gun effects, sucking sounds, etc. - granted these are really difficult and time consuming to overcome, but ...
As for the reverb, I've been an advocate of SIR (PC) and the free 350seat impulse set at noisevault.com, as a temporary solution while waiting for Gary's Real Spaces. The addition of a little far mics (rear facing) gives a lush reverb full of depth (maybe a little too much for chamber music). Here's my amatuer attempts: Franck Violin Sonata: http://www.wusik.com/song.php?id=362, or try poking around http://ybacuo.wusik.com/ , various compositions, various reverbs, various experiments.
As for the machine gun-like effects, well, DPDAN is the one to ask. More variety of velocities, especially higher velocities for quicker notes, addition of var1 and var2 (I forget the CC #s right now), usually only 10-20 in midi cc units. And then for particularly difficult spots, resorting to a different note (to trigger a different sample) with pitch bend to get the correct pitch, or some similar method. Definitely use the legato (sustain) pedal for fast runs, ornaments, for variety or for smoother phrasing. For slower, melodic passages, put a little 0-16 (or 13) midi cc #1 (mod wheel) hill on the notes, and shift the peak of the hill towards the next note if the pitch of the next note is higher, and away from the next note if the next note pitch is lower (both directions will resemble a sawtooth for octave leaps).
As a formerly well-known opponent of over-reverberation, I am very pleased to see that I am not the only one in this forum. YBaCuO says " I've only been able to bear listening to the first part of the first quartet." and that applies to me too.
Two reasons why the reverb needs drastically reducing:
1) Mainly, because we can't hear the details. The very first (crucial) phrase is unclear. If the listener can't grasp the main theme, how will he follow the later developments of it?
2) This is chamber music. I hear no chamber, only a vast hall with the performers a long way away. Chamber music should have a degree of intimacy.
I still think reverb programs are a terrible temptation and curse for most of us. All the various halls, tweaks and effects are a constant lure to fall for the "I can, therefore I must" syndrome. The fact is that most of our work will sound good with very little reverb. Too little is far better than too much.
Thanks for the suggestions. To be honest, I hadn't even messed with the reverb. It was just whatever the GPO studio defaults to (Ballroom 1, I think). I was so worried about the amount of notes on these things.
Maybe if I have time tonight, I will revisit these and repost. Thanks guys. YaBaCuo, sorry to not live up to your expectations. I'll try harder next time! :-)
(EDIT) I really need to start listening to these things before I post them. I'm not sure what happened, but most of my CC commands are gone. I just checked the original files and found that they are missing there as well. That's why they sound so freakin' terrible. YIKES!!! I'm going to remove these until I have a chance to correct them. That's for the insight guys.
Reverb may be part of the problem. More fundamentally there is a raw material problem. Even an excellently sampled programme is bound to struggle with the nuance of string quartet performance. I followed the first quartet looking at the 2nd violin part (which I happen to be rehearsing at the moment). Even a quarter note marked forte can have subtleties of attack, decay and release in actual performance as players adjust their sound to what is going on around. These demos have obviously taken a lot of time and effort, but they still need two three extra layers of doctoring of every single note to adjust expression. But even if all this had been done (got a century or two to spare?), you cannot perform this music with a one-size fits all vibrato, and an element of imbalance in sound, most noticeably between the viola and the violins. The viola, in my view, is GPO's weak spot. But it is the only solo viola in town,and I am grateful for it. Put together, unless extreme pains are taken to shade the dynamics, you get something approaching an electronic sound which is even more terminal than the so-called machine gun effect. I have experimented in rendering bits of Haydn quartets. But Beethoven may be beyond anyone's reach, at least until we see what is in GPOA.
Hi. I think you're probably right. I'm really considering putting this entire project on the back burner, awaiting the release of both GPOA and the Solo Strad Libraries. Thanks for the comments though. I hope you can play thie violin parts better than my MP3. Oui!!!!